Thursday, May 10, 2012

Tube Shell Heirogplyphs and the Gnamma Holes

 The birds, bream and mullet here feed on the tube worms that grow their nacre like coral upon the trees that are swept down the river, from the storms that batter the Stirlings and beyond, which in turn are fed by systems from the Indian and Southern Oceans hitting Gondwanaland ...

In the night I hear the black swans call each other on their flight path. They are a talkative folk. Dab chicks, looking like rafts of tiny ducks, scuttle under the skin of the water as the boat approaches through the dawn glass off. We pick up nets before dawn, shaking out the coral. Old Salt stamps on the remnants left in the nets, crunching them into a smelly, corally carpet, so that when we set nets in the afternoon, they will not tangle and hamper our efforts.

 "I reckon," he says, "if all those settlers used cow shit and sawdust as floors ... this coral would be okay, ground up, as a floor for a hut ... once you got over the smell of the worms going off."

He's right. It would make a grand floor. No sweeping or vaccuming, and the gathering dirt would become part of it all. Another friend recommended gravel, for the same reason. But harvesting the coral for building would mean (for me anyway) removing part of an eco system. Old Salt is used to that scenario. He grew up with his family using and working with nature. There is no way I would take enough coral away to make a floor for my shack.
Still, there is a box of the net's debris for the next chicken owner that puts up their hand.

Also seen on my travels ... a beautiful gnamma stone, surrounded in nacre text, covering fresh sweet water from the mossy forest above.

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